Thursday, May 6, 2010

Part I 'King Fahd gave us Plenty of Fuel'

I found this image of King Fahd(1921-2005) being given an AK-47 tutorial from none other than Saddam Hussein. This photo was obviously made before the King invited us into his Kingdom in 1990. Photographer unidentified. When we reached the Battalion refueling depot it was early evening of Day 1, some 16 hours into the ground operation. The sky at this spot in the desert was less filled with oil smoke which allowed the sun to cast a solid pale gray hue on the chaotic scene in front of me. We had driven from under the wet oil veil and now although I could see, it was in total absence of color. At the head of the two lines, side by side, sat huge gas tanker trucks next to these big round rubber fuel bladders.

There were dozens of Amtracks queued up to receive the precious diesel. Off to the right several M1 Abrams Tanks stood silently waiting their turn to get in the procession leading to the blessing of oil in the form of gas. Their guns sat level, the color of the sand. Hundreds of Marines stood off to the side watching and waiting for further instruction. An occasional Cobra Helicopter Gunship flew overhead keeping watch on this refueling war plan project from above. After our late Amtracks were filled with what we needed, we lined up with the rest of Golf Co. and shortly there after started rolling north again.

More hours pass as we move into the middle of the night some 24hrs after this thing started back south in the House of Saud. Sleep came in the form of intermittent dozes sitting back to the metal wall wedged in between the shoulders of my combat loaded colleagues. We moved forward across the sand through the night stopping occasionally for minutes at a time. A few of the pauses lasted as long as an hour with motors turned off while the command figured out our next tactical move based on the reports coming in from the forward scouts a few clicks ahead of us. These forward scouts were fast moving Humvee Heavy Gun Teams from Weapons Co. 2/4 that stayed out ahead of the BN looking for trouble before we ran into it. One of our friends and ex-G Co. platoon mates Eric 'Row-Bow-Sahn' Robison from Pascagoula Mississippi was riding in the turret behind a Browning M-2 .50cal on one of those BN scout vehicles. Something sort of exciting happens to him and his vehicle crew two days from this point in the operation but we will get to that later.
We continued moving north until shortly after sunrise on Day 2 when our track commander leaned down from his hatch above us and let us know that we were back under another thick layer of dense sun blocking oil smoke. Then our track stopped and the driver shut off the motor. A silent Golf Co. was spread out over the desert under the dark night daytime sky. Sleep came to all of us at various times over the next few hours. This was the longest stop so far in the ground operation. Spartan was receiving data transfer from the BN and we would be moving again soon enough.

No comments: